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Audit of the remediation of the former Fruitgrowers Chemical Company site, Mapua

Publication date:  June 2009
Publication reference number:  CR 71

The former Fruitgrowers Chemical Company (FCC) site in Mapua was considered New Zealand’s worst contaminated site. The soil and groundwater on the site, and the marine sediments where the site borders the estuary, were contaminated from decades of pesticide pollution by the former owners.

The Ministry for the Environment assisted Tasman District Council with funding for the clean-up project. When the original project manager withdrew, the Ministry took responsibility for the project and resource consents for the clean up.  The Ministry managed the project from 2004 through to late 2007 when the last contaminated soil was treated.

When the clean-up work and subsequent validation investigation were completed the Ministry commissioned an experienced auditor to determine:

  • whether the site had been cleaned up appropriately
  • if the land could be safely used for its intended uses
  • if any further work or monitoring was needed.

The auditor concluded that the site has been cleaned up to the acceptance criteria as set by the resource consent with the exception of marine sediments. The auditor determined the marine sediments had been cleaned up to the extent practicable.

The auditor further verified that the site’s different areas are suitable for their intended uses, although there are minor issues with the eastern and landfill sections. These residual issues are to be managed using a site management plan.

The auditor made 11 recommendations, one for further analysis on selected soils and the remainder for additional environmental monitoring.